I am so sorry! Here you all have been, waiting on tenterhooks to find out what happened with Glendale’s deal to give $200-million-plus in subsidies to the new buyer of the Phoenix Coyotes, a deal that was set to expire last night at midnight! And instead, I have been mucking around with a new site design. What, what was the denouement, you cry?
The arena agreement with the City of Glendale and the NHL which expires on July 31, will be extended for another 31 days.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) July 31, 2012
Well, okay then. Denouement postponed.
The problem, apparently, is that Greg Jamison, the intended beneficiary of all this public generosity, is still $20 million short of the $170 million purchase price that the NHL has set for the league-owned team. (Yes, that’s $170 million for a team that comes with $200 million in subsidies. No, I never get tired of noting that.) And with the NHL unwilling to lower its price, the waiting game continues.
The two big questions here, obviously, are: If Jamison’s having a hard time finding investors for a bargain-basement purchase that comes with enough public cash to finance the purchase by itself, can he possibly make the Coyotes into a viable business once he has them? And why is the NHL so set on keeping the team in Phoenix, when it could presumably get a lot more cash for its asset (not to mention TV viewers for its product) in, say, Quebec? Does Gary Bettman really not know how to declare victory and retreat?
It’s all very odd, and leaves poor Glendale in position of trying to throw public money at a team that the NHL simultaneously refuses either to abandon or to take a loss on in order to keep it in place. I’m sure there are Coyotes fans out there who would be rightfully upset to lose their team if it moved, but this is starting to feel like an abusive relationship that all involved would be better off by dissolving.